In one of the letter columns in the late-80s Question, Denny O’Neil refers to Peter Parker as a schlep, and always having been one. That’s Yiddish, and a little confusing because that precise word is a verb meaning to lug something inconvenient, but here, and as I’ve often heard or used it, it’s short for schlepper, meaning an inept, stupid person.
There is, in so many of the cosmic-y comics I like so much, the notion of a “node,” or “critical turning point.” It can be an object, it can be a person, it can be an event or set of events. Maybe it’s Hegelian or Nietzschean or some other 19th-century German-ian – as in its operation, there’s reconciliation with the past, but also a distinct discontinuity; there’s redemption and transformation and realization, but also a dramatic necessity for blood-and-guts violent confrontation; there’s the sense of throwing off all the taboos to find both the depths of depravity and the chorus of angels all in the same moment. It’s idealism and excess, horror and exaltation. Plus boobies. Read the rest of this entry
Ask any comics fan: over thataway is Marvel and it’s [insert string of fervent adjectives and loaded nouns], and over thisaway is DC and it’s [insert string of fervent adjectives and loaded nouns]. You choose your flag and you wave it. The rest are fringe. As my Brit Lit informed me, it’s “RCs to the right, Prods to the left, and fancy buggers in the middle.”
I’d been reading comics for about four years. I had read Origin of Marvel Comics, and Son of Origins, I’d struggled with The Steranko History of Comics volume 1, I had my issues of FOOM coming in the mail, and I had an envelope stuffed with Marvel Value Stamps. I was eleven, I was finally afforded an allowance that didn’t vanish with a single candy bar, and more than anything in the world, and as far as real life is concerned, considering I’d already met Leonard Nimoy, I wanted to be in on the ground floor of a new, world-beating, mighty Marvel comic magazine. Read the rest of this entry